Google Docs allows users to add comments to collaborate on documents. Comments in Google Docs are useful for giving feedback, asking questions, or having discussions without editing the actual text. You can add, reply to, resolve, and hide comments in Google Docs to manage conversations happening in the margins of your documents.
Adding Comments in Google Docs
Adding comments in Google Docs is easy. Follow these steps:
- Highlight the text you want to comment on. You can highlight a word, sentence, paragraph or multiple paragraphs.
- Click the Comment icon in the toolbar. It looks like a cartoon speech bubble.
- A comment box will open in the right margin.
- Type your comment in the box.
- Click Comment when you’re done.
Your comment will now appear in the right margin, connected to the highlighted text by a colored line.
You can also right-click on text and select Comment to quickly add a comment.
Commenting on Images or Charts
To comment on an image, chart, or other non-text element:
- Hover over the element until a blue comment icon appears.
- Click the blue comment icon to open up a comment box.
- Type your comment and click Comment to post it.
Replying to Comments
You can have threaded conversations in the comments to discuss details, ask follow-up questions, or brainstorm ideas.
To reply to a comment:
- Hover over the comment and click the Reply icon (it looks like a curved arrow).
- A comment box will open. Type your reply.
- Click Comment to post your reply.
Replies will be nested under the original comment to keep the conversation organized and easy to follow.
Once you address a comment, you can mark it resolved:
- Hover over the comment and click the Resolve icon (a checkmark).
- The comment text will be struck through to indicate it’s resolved.
If you change your mind, click Reopen to unresolve the comment.
Resolving comments helps keep track of what’s been addressed already.
Editing and Deleting Comments
To edit a comment you’ve posted:
- Hover over the comment and click the 3-dot menu.
- Select Edit comment.
- Make your changes and click Save.
To delete a comment:
- Hover over it and select the 3-dot menu.
- Choose Delete comment.
- Click Delete to confirm.
Hiding and Showing Comments
You can hide comments to minimize clutter when you want to focus on the document text:
Hide All Comments
- Click the Comment icon in the toolbar.
- Select Hide all comments.
This toggles comments off across the entire document.
Show Hidden Comments
- Click the Comment icon in the toolbar again.
- Choose Show all comments.
Hide Comments by User
To hide comments from specific people:
- Click the Comment icon in the toolbar.
- Select Manage comments.
- Uncheck the users whose comments you want to hide.
- Click Close.
This will hide comments posted by those users while keeping other comments visible.
Best Practices for Commenting
Here are some tips for using comments effectively:
- Be concise – Write short, focused comments to avoid cluttering up the margins.
- @ mention users – Include @ mentions if you want someone specific to see or respond to your comment.
- Ask questions – Use comments to ask clarifying questions rather than editing text directly.
- Suggest changes – Comment to propose changes rather than editing without permission.
- Resolve when addressed – Mark comments resolved so everyone knows what’s been handled already.
- Stay on topic – Keep the conversation relevant to the document section being discussed.
Keyboard shortcuts can help you manage comments more efficiently:
- Ctrl+Alt+M – Insert a new comment
- Ctrl+Alt+R – Reply to a comment
- Ctrl+Alt+S – Resolve a comment
- Ctrl+Alt+H – Hide all comments
- Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H – Show hidden comments
Accessing Comment History
Google Docs keeps a timestamped history of all comments, replies, resolutions, etc.
To view the comment history:
- Click File > Version history > See version history
- Open the date you want.
- Click Comments in the sidebar.
This allows you to review who commented on what and when.
Limits on Comments
Google Docs places some limits around comments to maintain performance:
- 200 comments – A document can have up to 200 top-level comments. Replies don’t count toward the limit.
- Character count – Each comment box allows up to 30,000 characters.
If you hit these limits, try resolving some comments or condensing conversations.
Here are some common issues with possible solutions:
Comments not appearing
- Check if comments are hidden. Show all comments.
- Refresh the browser tab.
Can’t comment on a section
- Highlight a smaller portion of text or click a specific spot to insert the comment bubble.
Comments out of sync
- Try clearing your browser cache and reloading the document.
- Check the version history’s comment list to see if it was deleted.
- Try hiding some comments or closing other browser tabs.
Comments in Google Docs facilitate collaborative editing, feedback, and discussions around a document without tampering with the content itself. Use them for reviewing changes, brainstorming ideas, clarifying details, tracking tasks, and more. Just be sure to resolve comments once addressed and hide them when done to keep your document organized.